Professor and Associate Dean of Faculties
Phone: (979) 458-0591
Research in my laboratory focuses on better understanding the ecology and evolution of avian influenza and avian paramyxoviruses. By carrying out surveillance and characterization of viruses isolated from wild bird populations from the wintering grounds of the Central Flyway (Texas Coast), we are able to better understand how these viruses are maintained in nature and how they evolve to adapt to new hosts. Molecular characterization of the viruses, together with ecological data are used for epidemiological and modeling studies. Another aspect of my research includes the study of molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis of avian influenza viruses. Using reverse genetics, specific mutations are introduced in the avian influenza virus genome in order to study their role in virus pathogenesis as well as to determine gene function. Using genomic approaches the host/virus interaction is also being studied. We are also interested in understanding molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis of Mareks disease virus, a chicken oncogenic alphaherpesvirus, and in the development of improved vaccines to control this important poultry pathogen.
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